On August 10th, 2018, NAAWA launched “The Educational Outreach Committee Program” (EOC) in partnership with the Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR). Mr. Ghassan Tarazi and Mr. Paul Noursi, active members of the VCHR, presented the extensive work they’ve been doing on education in Virginia, including addressing inaccuracies in school curriculum.
EOC team members have been meeting bi-weekly since the program launched, and have already made much progress, including the following:
• Developed talking points that can be used by community members to address various stakeholders regarding inaccuracies in current textbooks that are being used at FCPS.
• Attended the Fairfax County School Board meeting to observe their procedures in preparation for when committee members officially address the board about our concerns regarding the revisions that were made to FCPS social studies textbooks.
• Met with several prominent individuals, including: Susan Douglass, Education Outreach Coordinator at the School for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University, who has extensive experience in training teachers in Virginia on the culture and history of the Middle East, and is willing to help EOC in training additional FCPS teachers; Jane Miscavage, President of Fairfax County Council PTA and Stella Pekarsky FCCPTA, VP of Outreach to discuss collaboration on events, especially the teacher appreciation night in April 2019.
• Meeting with Pat Hynes, Fairfax Country School Board member, on January 7th to better understand how the system works to prepare EOC members to address the board on February 7th. All NAAWA members are invited and encouraged to attend to show their support.
• Review of supplementary materials provided by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to be shared with various stakeholders.
• Meeting with Craig J. Perrier, High School Social Studies Specialist on January 11th. Committee members will be sharing supplementary material with Mr. Perrier.
• Organize a Teacher Appreciation gala in April for social studies teachers to introduce them to our culture and address misconceptions about the Middle East.